Winterim Programs Offer Immersive Learning in Locations Near and Far

Tuesday, March 10, 2020


From Argentina to Zambia, from Real Life 101 to CSI Heathwood, Heathwood's Upper School students spent the week of March 1-7 stepping beyond the traditional classroom for Winterim experiences that broaden horizons, teach new skills, provide vocational training, and more.

Premised on the understanding that young people often learn best when they are able to choose a subject and become actively immersed in its study, Winterim has been a signature Heathwood program for nearly 40 years. The Winterim curriculum focuses on four main areas: academic and cultural enrichment, service learning, wilderness immersion, and career exploration. While about 25% of Upper School students completed internships in areas of professional interest, his year’s Winterim programs included service learning trips to Zambia and Hawaii, wilderness immersion in Morocco, Costa Rica, and Death Valley, an artist residency, a college tour, short courses in podcasting and exercise science, and much more. 

Here’s just a glimpse of all that our students experienced through Winterim this year.

International Travel

Argentina: Students immersed themselves in the rich culture and history of Buenos Aires, living, dining, and traveling like locals, learning to tango, and taking day trips into the surrounding countryside.

Costa Rica: Starting on the Pacific coast and working their way east through the mountains to the Caribbean, students swam, surfed, hiked, rappelled down a waterfall, explored a coffee plantation, and performed community service at a school nestled beneath a volcano.

Morocco: Journeying from urban Marrakech to the 14th-century village of Ait Benhaddou to the towering dunes of the Sahara and the massive peaks of the Atlas Mountains, students explored Moroccan culture, landscapes, and cuisine.

Zambia: At the Mwandi Mission, students spent a week of service to a local school, farm, and orphanage. They also traveled to Victoria Falls and went on safari at Chobe National Park in Botswana.

Domestic Travel

SCUBA Open Water Dive Certification: Working with a team of instructors, students progressed from the classroom to a pool to freshwater springs in Florida, earning Open Water Dive certification along the way.

Hawaii: On the Big Island of Hawaii, students participated in environmental service work by assisting local organizations in their mission to safeguard Hawaii’s rich biodiversity.

Atlanta College and History Tour: In addition to touring colleges ranging from UGA to Emory to Georgia State, students visited the Civil Rights Museum, the Coca-Cola Museum, the Georgia Museum of Art, and more.

Death Valley: Death Valley’s extreme climate makes for unique and spectacular landscapes. Students spent a week hiking and camping in the dessert, exploring their surroundings and the region’s history.

Short Courses

PODcasting: Working with faculty from the English and IT departments, students honed both their storytelling technique and their A/V skills, while exploring what makes a podcast successful, whether it’s aimed for mass appeal or for a niche market.

Real Life 101: From auto maintenance to personal finance, from self-defense to basic cooking to unclogging the sink, Real Life 101 was a week-long crash course in key things students need to know by the time they graduate into the “real world.”

CSI Heathwood: Taking a hands-on approach to the sciences of criminology and sociology, CSI Heathwood walked students through all the stages of crime scene investigation, drawing on the expertise of members of various local law enforcement agencies.

Exercise Science: From clinical exercise physiology to physical therapy to strength and conditioning, the Exercise Science class gave students hands-on experience in an array of areas related to health and human performance.

Artist Residency: At Upstate SC’s Rensing Center, students spent the week making art through both structured and unstructured sessions in the studio, and in nature.